January 21, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

Welcome to the spring semester and a new decade!

I hope that all of you had an opportunity to rest and recharge over the winter break. As we kick off what promises to be a busy and exciting spring semester, I want to welcome you and share news from my Trinity travels over the past few weeks.

On January 1, I started a tour of Southeast Asia for Trinity. This trip made it crystal clear to me that Trinity truly is a global college. In Bangkok, Singapore, and Mumbai, we attended receptions with alumni, current students, parents, grandparents, and friends of Trinity. I met alums who hadn’t been back to campus in 20 years, as well as one who had attended every fifth-year reunion since 1963. All of these events had a common thread—the joy of meeting successful people who shared how grateful they are for the transformative educational experience that Trinity provides. There also was a clear sense of commitment by alums and parents to build and strengthen Trinity’s network and presence in their international communities.

In Bangalore and Mysore, India, we visited our partners at Infosys. It was quite impressive to see Infosys’s dedication to training and lifelong learning, including the company’s Global Education Center that has the capacity to house and train nearly 15,000 employees concurrently. We ended the tour with a reception and alumni meetings in London. After this whirlwind trip making more than 150 Trinity connections, I’ve come back a little tired but truly energized by the big impact that this small college has around the world.

Without a doubt, this will be an exciting semester, as we celebrate several historic milestones for the college. The 50th anniversary of Trinity in Rome in March is a testament to Trinity’s long-standing commitment to a global presence, even before study away was a national trend. We will continue our celebration of the 50th anniversary of coeducation, including a festive February gathering of “50 for the Next 50,” 50 women who will impact the next 50 years at Trinity. And Cinestudio, a gem for our campus and the Hartford community, will celebrate its 50th anniversary this spring.

Early in the spring semester, the Task Force on the Status of Women at Trinity will release its report and recommendations. Later in the semester, we will continue our focus on building an inclusive community as I lead a task force on campus climate. As the country moves toward a presidential election, we know that political tensions on college campuses nationwide are likely to increase. Reaffirming our commitment to welcoming different points of view and to fostering an inclusive campus community that engages in respectful discourse will be more important than ever. Please join me in committing to open-mindedness and respect as we move into what promises to be an active political season. And I do encourage you to engage actively!

Finally, while financial success isn’t the only way we define the value of a liberal arts education, I hope that you share in the pride that Trinity was cited by Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce as having among the highest returns on investment of all liberal arts institutions—Trinity ranks 10th in the center’s study! As our seniors prepare to graduate, they should take comfort in the fact that success after Trinity is very likely, indeed.

May we all experience success in whatever matters most to us this spring!


Joanne Berger-Sweeney
President and Trinity College Professor of Neuroscience